13 Feb, 2009
I can look at boards all day during SIA but I really judge them when I take them on snow to see how they ride. I made the trek down to Keystone to spend 3 full days on snow so I could ride the 2009-2010 gear. I stayed at Keystone in a condo with a couple others (big thanks to Gags), supplied the Miller High Life and enjoyed fun times off the snow.
This year I concentrated mostly on boards with the exception of getting on a couple bindings. It made it a lot easier to dial in the boards and what I was feeling on each one. I didn’t rush this year either, I rode with friends and had fun doing the demo’s, seeing what each other rode.
It was a total of 3 days on the same runs, through varying conditions as it changed from snow packed to hard packed to icy packed groomers.
I went through 20 snowboards and 11 bindings at the final count. There will be more as well, I’ll continue to borrow some demo boards so I can really take the time to review them.
Photo: Hybrid Sessions
So here’s what I learned:
Unions: New ratchets, still good. Fit my boots fine and adjusted fine for the demos. I spent the most time on the forces for the demos because they are what I normally ride. Trilogy’s were solid and still another favorite from Union.
Technines: I only rode one pair and they were too soft for me, really comfortable though.
Flow: NXT-ATs are still damn fine bindings and the era was an interesting ride, not my style of board but I can see how people will appreciate it more than me.
Mtnops: rode two of the boards, charging and little less charging. For the first year they went through Unity and I liked how they were done.
Unity: Put out a board that handles the mountain and has a little rocker on it.
O-matic: Extr-eco was interesting, I rode the regular camber and their BS camber so it was fun to compare them. The combo of the sweet with technine’s didn’t do the board justice, will try again with my bindings.
Burton: Rode the hero and malolo (completely different types of riding goodness). First off Malolo was impressive on groomers, maybe I had set the expectations low but I liked how it handled and wished I had some pow to ride it in. Hero still the same fun board. Bindings…the adjustments like a wider ankle strap near the ratchet and wing make sense, I like the scribes more than the molotov’s but they both were good bindings to ride.
Rossignol: Rode the angus and it’s a board I need more time on before I even put out the review.
GNU/Lib: Park Pickle…probably my most favorite board of the demos, easy to ride and not adjust to and you gotta admit the heelside edge holds way better or maybe I just suck…either way I liked it. B-pro still fun and C2 was better on it than when I rode the dark C2 completely not detuned and throwing me off most of the runs. Dark C2, I’m gonna ride again…I loved the Dark and riding with C2 made me question that love a bit…not the same board.
Rome: The Pusher was damn good, my style and could charge but still playful. Rode the United’s which didn’t fit my boots so well, highback was just a tad taller than I could handle so I went to the madisons and happy with those for the afternoon.
Nitro/Raiden: Good to see the Eris bindings with enough of a touch-up to make me appreciate them more. The Carrera I’d have loved to ride in a bigger size but even with the smaller size, there’s another aggressive board for women to rock out to.
Capita: Loved the indoor survival fk, first board of the demos and a lot of fun. I wish I could compare it without the fk and maybe eventually later on. The green machine based off the indoor was also a fun board, subtle differences and ended the day on it during some rough conditions which it held up.
Arbor: I should have rode more Arbor since they are hard to find. Coda was another solid Arbor board.
Bataleon: It’s been a while since I rode TBT but I rode their high end board and cruised with it. Enemy was charging and it took me a while to get back to TBT mode.
Ride: Crush was fun, I didn’t hate it but didn’t love it either. The women’s contrabands…wow I definitely wanna try them again. I think i was more trying to figure out how they felt, different feeling to get used to.
Drake: Supersports were some fun, I wasn’t expecting to ride them and switched out with K so I could. I found them to be a good decent binding.
In the end I found myself with too little time to check out all the companies and all the boards requested for the demo’s. I tried a variety of men’s and women’s boards in various sizes. I walked away with some favorites that I wasn’t expecting and others that I was more just stoked to try out. Some gear this year had a longer adjustment period that I was expecting and I wanna try them again to really get the whole feel for them.